A few weeks back MSN instituted a new Meta Tag that would allow website owners to force MSN to ignore their Open Directory Project (ODP) directory title and description when creating their search engine listing. For many this was a huge boon because their rankings were tied to the out of date, poorly edited or even false directory listings at the ODP.
Finally this same Meta Tag has been embraced by Google. As a result, you can now shed the chains of the ODP’s inaccuracies and have your website placed using the actual Meta Description and Title Tags on your website.
Here is an excerpt from Google’s Webmaster Help Center on this topic:
(note that you need to add brackets < > on either side of the Meta statements - I couldn’t do that in the blog without errors).
One source we use to generate snippets is the Open Directory Project. You can direct us not to use this as a source by adding a meta tag to your pages.
- To prevent all search engines (that support the meta tag) from using this information for the page’s description, use the following:
meta content=”NOODP” name=”ROBOTS”
- To specifically prevent Google from using this information for a page’s description, use the following:
meta content=”NOODP” name=”GOOGLEBOT”
- If you use the robots meta tag for other directives, you can combine those. For instance: meta content=”NOODP, NOFOLLOW” name=”GOOGLEBOT”
Note that once you add this meta tag to your pages, it may take some time for changes to your snippets to appear in the index.
NOODP Meta Tag Post by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.